University & Hardy

We agreed to search for food down on Mill, and loaded into a Jeep, driving past the Place Where the Crane Crashed, as it is written, for the I-10 east on-ramp. We glide past the parking structures of Sky Harbor along the 143 and then curve onto the 202 towards the flour mill and the bars. It is Phoenix mid-day and the clouds are looming large and dramatically, and we are small underneath them. We settle at Gandolfo’s on University. I tell Vo, “I’m suprised I never went here when I lived down here.”

“You lived down here?”

“For a month.”

“What happened?”

“Kicked out.”

“By whom?”

“The others.”


We split and we dine on a 42nd Street, a hot sandwich made with breaded chicken and pastrami, and the ecletric of Tempe and the Polo Shirts of our company and other companies filter in and out. Across from us sits IT technicians, and they have the faded sleeve tattoos and facial piercings surrounded by middle-aged fat that betell of a past self that would have probably commited suicide if they could see themselves now.

We eat and leave, we make a quick stop at Hardy, and Vo and I stand in line at a counter-service Starbucks, and the misters only help to make it more humid. A bicyclist gets hit as a car comes to a halt and ruber is inhaled, and an old woman screams. The man fancies himself an Armstrong and gets up in his tight blue racing suit and runs off, no one knows to where. The bike is in his tow. I am glad he wasn’t hurt more seriously, as I would have felt an obligation to help, but would not have.

A Springsteen song comes over the outdoor speakers at Starbucks, and I recognize it as a favorite of my east coast lover who captured my west coast heart. With Devils & Dust we grab our drinks, Vo her macchiato and I my iced quad venti vanilla latte, and we walk past the Israeli diner we ate at two days before.

“You ever eaten there, Will?” Vo points to the Ethiopian restaurant on the same corner.



I don’t have the heart to tell her that there is a reason that the Ethiopians starve.

5 Comments so far

  1. Libran Lover (unregistered) on August 12th, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

    “You ever eaten there, Will?” Vo points to the Ethiopian restaurant on the same corner.



    I don’t have the heart to tell her that there is a reason that the Ethiopians starve.

    That was not funny at all!

  2. Nash (unregistered) on August 13th, 2006 @ 4:39 am

    Honesty is never meant to be humerous.

  3. demooderew (unregistered) on August 13th, 2006 @ 10:47 pm

    If you are referring to Cafe Lalibela, then you are mistaken. I am quite a fan of Sabuddy and Cafe Lalibela, not equally might I add, I tend to favor Sabuddy a bit more, but they both serve true to the culture authentic cuisine that I find very tasty.

  4. Nash (unregistered) on August 14th, 2006 @ 6:51 am

    I am referring to Cafe Lalibela, and I have actually tried it several times. I found it equally disgusting each time, except for the sponge bread, which I find amazing. I am a fan of most ethnic foods, especially Thai and Vietnamese (but not Indian). I realize Ethiopian is quite different, but I still can’t get myself to enjoy it in the slightest. Perhaps you could guide me to one of their better dishes?

  5. Nash (unregistered) on August 14th, 2006 @ 6:57 am

    Also, in regards to Sabuddy, is is very tasty and one of my more highly-regarded Tempe restaurants, but I would not go as far as to call is “authentic.” Their falaffal and hummus hit the mark, but it about stops there. Having spent considerable time in Israel recently, and eating at all variety of local establishments, Sabuddy is VERY Americanized. It hits the mark on taste, but not on authenticity. True Israeli food is much better hit on the head at the Phoencia Grill in Tempe. True the Phoencia is not billed as “Israeli,” but it is a MUCH more accurate taste of what you’ll find there. The one thing I have against both restaurants is the pricing, however — any establishment that charges $8-$9 for a plate of falaffel and hummus or a plate of chicken schwarma is deserving of no business at all — yet we go because we are Americans and think it’s okay to spend $10 on a meal.

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